Brian Kemp's upcoming testimony could be a major problem for Donald Trump: legal experts

Brian Kemp's upcoming testimony could be a major problem for Donald Trump: legal experts
United States Army National Guard photo by Capt. Bryant Wine.

As former President Donald Trump faces multiple investigations in various states, one looming concern centers around Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's (R) upcoming testimony as part of the Fulton County, Ga., investigation into election tampering.

A new analysis written by Slate magazine's Dennis Aftergut and Norman L. Eisen is explaining why Kemp's testimony is of such great importance. The latest analysis comes just days after the Republican governor was criticized in response to his request to have the grand jury subpoena voided.

"According to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ office, which oversees the grand jury, Trump reached out to Kemp just after the 2020 election asking for help to change the result in Trump’s favor," Aftergut and Eisen wrote. "The grand jury needs testimony from Kemp to know exactly what happened, and so Willis has subpoenaed him."

READ MORE: GOP Georgia governor files 121-page motion to quash grand jury subpoena in election probe

In a six-page ruling, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney pushed back against Kemp's claims of immunity. Despite Kemp's arguments, the judge ordered him to shortly after the upcoming November midterm election.

They wrote, "Kemp’s main claim was that the doctrine of sovereign immunity bars him from being called to testify. McBurney rejected the claim a mere four days after hearing it argued on last week."

Addressing the issue, McBurney wrote, “'[The sovereign immunity] doctrine ‘forbids our courts to entertain a [civil] lawsuit against the State without its consent.’ … [B]efore [the court is] no civil proceeding,' but rather a criminal investigation."

McBurney also highlighted the problems with Kemp's arguments.

READ MORE: Brian Kemp accuses Stacey Abrams of supporting boycotts that she discouraged

"Demonstrating the inadequate legal quality of Kemp’s attempt to apply the doctrine in the criminal context, McBurney noted that every case Kemp’s lawyers cited involved civil litigation, and that 'in a world in which sovereign immunity applied to criminal actions … police officers could flout subpoenas,'" Eisen and Aftergut wrote. "The judge concluded that '[t]he Governor must honor the subpoena—as have the Secretary of State and the Attorney General.'”

They also noted that "McBurney’s resolution was Solomonic. Willis gets her evidence after November 8, and the governor sidesteps the political season."

READ MORE: Brian Kemp views Stacey Abrams as presidential material — and he’s terrified

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